The Oberoi in Seminyak
with an unbeatable position – literally right on seminyak beach and ‘in the hub’ of great restaurants, shopping, bars, clubs, spa’s, beach clubs etc. this 15-hectare property takes you back in time, in the most unforgettable way. Think traditional Balinese village with open air restaurant, lobby, café and sporting facilities with 75 lanai rooms and villas, clustered spaciously throughout the tropical gardens on the property.
The feeling you experience is quite like no other, it is just the most perfect ‘traditional’ Balinese property that we have ever experienced and it left us enchanted and totally relaxed after 5 nights of pure “Heaven amongst the hustle and bustle of Seminyak”
John Halpin, the resorts GM, has been at the resort for the past 7 years and he came from the Oberoi in Lombok after a helm of 10 years. His staff are extremely sincere, happy and humble and his presence is felt throughout the service areas and ‘heart’ of the property.
Oberoi Hotels & Resorts is all about entering a world of Luxury and Leisure. Having recently been awarded “world’s best hotel brand” by the readers of Travel + Leisure, USA in the 2015 and 2016 World’s Best Awards.
The Oberoi Seminyak is a lush beachside haven that offers a complete Balinese experience, filled with serenity, hospitality and tropical beauty.
This is a place where you can relax in truly fabulous settings that celebrate your privacy with charming thatched roof villas and lanais which feature private swimming pools, unique garden bathrooms and exquisite interiors with traditional Balinese art.
The pool area
and the outdoor bar
The property only features one restaurant (Kura Kura), one café for breakfast and lunch (a la carte) (frangipani café) and one bar. So you don’t need to think too hard about your choices here!
The frangipani café is just set back from the beach and is located beside the swimming pool. Every morning we enjoyed breakfast and juices here. Its truly a tropical café with everything you could imagine on the menu – from bacon and eggs to benedict or Florentine, gourmet sausages, waffles, pancakes, pastries, omelettes, fresh fruit and preserves, French butter, cold pressed juices, mocktails – you name it and they probably had it! Service around this café is unbeatable. They are familiar with you and what you like to order, which is exactly what I like. Recognition is so important to me on holidays, after all, the less I have to think at breakfast the better!
All newspapers and reading materials available for everyone – even the Australian and The Age.
Oh… The coffee is fab. They make it just the way you want – extra HOT flat white with an extra shot Miss Karen? Would you like that in a mug or cup today? (my mother) Yes thank you – just a cup please Miss Tarni (always happy and smiling).
Was that all for today Jamie? Arrrrr maybe I can fit some pancakes, banana’s and maple syrup in! – that was my attitude every day I went for breakfast!! Solid.
Most days we would just graze at breakfast and soak it all in, then casually stroll to the pool area which is grassed and has padded sun loungers with 2 towels per person and your own wooden box to put your belongings in. If you order pool side dining, they set up a little table in front of you and have everything set up as if you were at a table. Need the attention of a food and beverage butler? Just wave your white flag and voila! At your service Mr Mansfield.
The rooms are spacious with everything that you need. The mini bar was stocked with plenty of choices from nuts and chips, to chocolate bars and candy. The ice bucket was filled daily (I love that) and the mini bar replenished every second day.
The bed was super comfortable and the linen was dreamy. They have a pillow menu here, so you can choose your favourite from concierge.
Room service is available 24/7 here at The Oberoi Bali Seminyak – With a wide range of choices available on the menu, which is located in the hotel services directory.
Just outside the property you have everything you need on just about every corner and more. Seminyak square always has some decent markets during the day and there is a good grocer and liquor store here also. Upstairs from the markets houses a bar where we watched the preliminary finals for the AFL where the eagles got thrashed. Had a few beaut icy cold bintangs here, they were literally nearly frozen – something our family requires (my mums mother Fay loves a cold beer and it runs in the family – it must be super cold or else! lol).
The incredible Kura Kura Restaurant (Tortoise)
The dimly lit candles and open-air ambiance of Kura Kura really hits you upon entering this open-air restaurant located just off reception and before frangipani café.
The wait staff explain the menu to you and the origins of the restaurant with a little history about the chef and the famous people they have served and their recommendations.
We placed our orders with the waitstaff who were very helpful and intuitive. The service was impeccable, flawless. Such caring and thoughtful happy staff members! We were gobsmacked by this level of service we received.
First, the bread was offered and you were given 3 choices which were just baked served with lavosh crisp bread, extra virgin oil and balsamic.
We both ordered a glass of the Italian red blend which was superb! And the usual Pellegrino bubbles and coke (for me!)
We then put our eye to the food. I chose “Pickled Beetroot Carpaccio crumbled chévre “Anny Buche”, mixed organic garden greens, raspberry vinaigrette with fresh cow’s milk burrata” for my entrée while mum chose the “The True Taste of Iberico the very best Spanish ham “de Beher” and chorizo of acorn fed black pork, cured for 36 months, grilled sourdough, Brittany butter with fleur de sel”.
Then for mains mum chose her favourite “Spaghetti Con Gamberi – house made angel hair pasta with white prawns from Papua New Guinea, preserved lemon, kemangi basil, chardonnay beurre blanc, black garlic, & cherry tomatoes” and I had the usual “Premium Black Angus Rib Eye from Nebraska for 1 (300 g) “burned” cherry tomato ragout with tarragon and edamame, crushed baked potato with cucumber and bacon, crispy onions, béarnaise jus w frites” thank you very much!
A HISTORY OF THE OBEROI, BALI – courtesy of Oberoi Hotels.
Bali has long attracted people of style and charm, from Dewi Sukarno, Margaret Mead and Mick Jagger, and various other celebrities, kings, queens, princes and princesses. Originally built in 1972 as an exclusive private club named “Kayu Aya”, on the site of an ancient village, it was a multi-million-dollar cluster of villas for the world’s wealthy and famous. A team of Balinese skilled craftsmen and artisans laboured for more than two years to combine the comforts of the West with the mystique of the East. Distinguished Australian architect, Peter Muller oversaw the initial building of The Kaya Aya Club and later the restoration and expansion of the hotel that would become The Bali Oberoi. The job would include upgrades overseen by Muller for the next 30 years. As Muller tells it; “It was an magnificent piece of land, so first I designed a house, and while I was designing it the first owners asked if I could add five guest villas for their friends — Princess Grace, Salvador Dali, people like that.” Muller and his wife Carole remained in Bali and built a prototype guest villa on the land using only Balinese materials and technology. Four more were built straightaway. Finally, it was decided that a mix of villas and guestrooms would be appropriate. Very quickly it grew to 63 rooms, including 14 villas and a Presidential Villa and went from being a private residence to The Kayu Aya Club.” Kayu Aya was short lived as the money dried up and land ownership came into question. The 1974 half abandoned Kayu Aya hosted full-moon parties in the beautiful seaside gardens, with musicians jamming under half-finished pavilions and stunningly beautiful people from all over the world dancing in the moonlight. The parties were said to only last a couple of seasons, but are still remembered as legendary. Meanwhile, Kayu Aya’s investors, fought a court case in the Jakarta courts for almost three years, finally winning in 1977, and, as a foreign-owned entity, they were obliged to immediately put the property up for auction. In February 1978, Oberoi Hotels & Resorts entered into a Management Agreement with P.T. Widja Putra Karya to operate “Hotel Bali Oberoi” as it was initially known. The property was closed for 6 months for upgrades and renovations bringing the facilities up to the standards of a luxury resort. On 5th August 1978, Hotel Bali Oberoi opened for business with 63 rooms (14 villas, one Presidential villa with swimming pool and 48 lanai rooms), one Restaurant and one Bar. The resort was welcomed as Bali’s first exclusive beach resort under the personal guidance of The Oberoi Group’s founding Chairman, late Rai Bahadur M.S. Oberoi. In 1980, the second upgrading of the hotel was undertaken with the addition of Lanai rooms to bring the total to 74. A Spa and a Tennis Court were also added. Between 1988 and 1999, the third and most ambitious multimillion dollar upgrading of the hotel was launched. All villas, lanais and public area cottages were rebuilt, existing plant and machinery facilities upgraded and a new spa with fully equipped fitness centre were introduced. The Boutique and the Gallery also opened as additional facility for guests offering unique handcrafted jewellery, objects d’art and handicrafts. The Oberoi, Bali today offers every convenience required of an exclusive resort whilst bowing to the rich history, architecture and style the resort holds as it was initially known.
Quite intriguing literally.
Thanks for the stay TOBI, I will be back one day – soon I hope!
I rate this property a total of 5.8 out of a maximum 6 stars.